Cheltenham Festival 2023: 'Fan village' closed for bookings due to lack of interest – The Mirror

The site near Cheltenham Racecourse, which aimed to provide a cheaper alternative to expensive hotels and B&Bs, only received bookings for 16 of 300 spaces
A specially created site where containers were converted into temporary accommodation for Cheltenham Festival fans has been shelved due to lack of bookings.
The ‘fan village’, situated on a training pitch used by Cheltenham Tigers Rugby Club, was billed as offering travellers to the meeting a cheaper alternative to hotels and B&Bs whose prices rocket during the four day fixture.
Rooms in a pop-up unit at the Stay Lets Village and Caboose Town, where there was also to be a terrace, restaurant and bar, were available from £950 for a twin room for a minimum five night stay.
But a note on the website now says: “We’re sorry, but this property isn’t taking reservations on our site right now.”
Only 16 of the 300 spaces available had been booked, according to a report in the Racing Post.
Oliver Williams, managing director of part-organisers StayLets, said: "It was a challenge. We had about 50 per cent of what would have been viable to break even and it simply wasn't worth it. It was always a bit of a gamble but we still think it's a very good idea and there's a market for it.”
He continued: "I got up to 15 bookings and more than half fell away. I'm a bit concerned as I live in Cheltenham and do some stuff for local businesses and it's the same for them. If the footfall is dropping because people aren't staying over during race week, that's a problem."
The pop-up units are in use at music festivals like Glastonbury and the organisers are prepared to try again in 2024.
Williams said: "I might eat my words but I'm confident about what we're offering in terms of the price point of staying here compared to town and the quality. It's different, it's fun, it's to a really high standard and it's a pleasant place to stay."
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